Charlie’s 2022 Hobby Year in Review

2022 has almost finished happening to us, so it’s time for the Goonhammer team to look back at what they achieved from a hobby standpoint. In today’s hobby year in review, Charlie has painted GOFFS, plus a light smattering of other nonsense.

In geopolitical terms, here in the UK at least, this year felt a bit like watching a puppy get teabagged with a wrecking ball and being entirely unable to prevent it.

In such times, having an escapist hobby is more welcome than ever. Did Mad Vlad just invade his neighbour with an overabundance of tanks and a deficit of foresight? Rip the cellophane off a new box, admire the frame, bust out the hobby knife. One flailing UK prime minister somehow replaced with an even worse one? Spraaaay priiiiime. Can’t heat your house any more? Great, paint takes even longer to dry on the palette. Can’t afford fresh produce? That’s cool, quickly heating up some beans gives me more time to apply highlights. Governments still ignoring the polling that shows a majority of the public want meaningful action on climate change? Make your own green movement by painting some more plastic orks. With big sooty exhausts. Savour the irony. SAVOUR IT.

Is this fiddling while Rome burns? Yes. Would Rome continue to burn if I stopped fiddling? Also yes.

I guess my mistake was paying attention to politics and climate change, since on the flipside, humanity also hit some fairly badass milestones, such as curing a little girl’s cancer with gene editing, and conducting the first fusion experiment that generated more energy than it used. Hell yeah.

Don’t worry, all references to reality end here.

The desire for escapism has produced a good year, hobby wise: about sixty Crusade games, a new army of Goffs, a whole bunch of maps and other illustrations, terrain, a light smattering of blue primaris boys, and an even lighter smattering of floppy hats on square bases. Oh, and an absurdly in-depth Goonhammer piece on Sandbox Campaigns.

In the interests of brevity (haaaaa too late) I’ll group these many things by theme rather than chronology.

Spehss Muhreens

Only a bijou sprinkling of power armour this year. The army’s at a point where I can just paint the odd unit when I feel the urge to highlight something. These were all palette cleansers between fast, grungy paint jobs on Goffs (see below).

Cobalt Scions Incursor Squad
Cobalt Scions Incursors. Credit: Charlie Brassley

‘Eavy Metal Phobos bois generally follow the standard colour scheme, but since these are stealth troops, I took a leaf out of Colin Ward’s book and went for a somewhat sneakier palette, while adding muted versions of my standard iconography to the unit. I like them, and I would like to paint more of them. It’s classic GW, in that I really wasn’t sure about the Phobos look when they came out, but they’ve grown on me.

Primaris Captain in Gravis Armour: Chapter Master Drusus of the Cobalt Scions. Credit: Charlie Brassley

I wasn’t planning on painting a second captain mini, but the new de-paunched gravis captain was impossible to resist. So he’s serving as my chapter master; after a hard week’s Crusading he accrued enough XP to become Heroic and, thus, now costs an extra 40 points and gets to lord it over the other blue boys.

Cobalt Scions Primaris Librarian. Credit: Charlie Brassley

I also cranked out Lexicanium Jeeroy Lenkins Tolemias, and had great fun converting him up and calling back to some Second Edition Codex heraldry. You can read more about how the conversion was done in this Hobby Heresy article.

Hellblasters combat squad
Cobalt Scions Hellblasters. Credit: Charlie Brassley

In my continued pursuit of the pipe dream that is having the whole Third Company,* I painted another 5 hellblasters to round out the 5 I already had. As usual, I tried to add variety to the unit; the dude with the gold skull is the combat squad leader, but that doesn’t exactly add visual interest; I also did a guy who’s overheated his gun, and a tech adept, denoted by the red arm, techmarine helm and mechandendrite on his power unit.

*Given that each dude takes 5 hours minimum, this is a very stupid dream.

If you like how the Cobalt Scions look, or if you enjoy it when people go off on a narrative gaming bender, you may be interested in the showcase I put out earlier this year.

Photoshopping Is Best Shopping

As a byproduct of making campaign maps, I wound up making a whole bunch of faction icons in Photoshop, and this in turn led to people asking for icons I had no reason to make, and my oh well if you insist  mentality guaranteed that things quickly snowballed.

Photoshop Within, Iron Without
Step-by-step progress painting an Iron Warriors icon. Credit: Charlie Brassley

Of course I did also have to make an actual map:

Lachesis campaign map. Credit: Charlie Brassley

If you’re a narrative gaming fan then you can read about this map, and the campaign behind it, in a series of posts that have just started coming out here on Goonhammer. Part One of the Lachesis Raid can be found here.

Square-Based Joy

For my gaming group, the Old World of Warhammer never exploded. 40K Crusade has admittedly taken up most of the gaming time this year, but I’ve still found time to run a slow-burn roleplaying wargame campaign set in Hochland, in which the players cooperatively take charge of regiments in Hochland’s army and try to survive the stabby predations of Goblins, Skaven, and Undead. This didn’t require much painting from me, since I already had everything I needed, but nonetheless it was a nice excuse to do a spot of terrain and the occasional extra mini to round out regiments.

Tabletop World townhouse 3. Credit: Charlie Brassley

Fronteris Terrain

A sexy terrain kit is my absolute Achilles Heel when it comes to responsible spending. The Cairn of Opportunity is… well stocked. But like the Gravis Captain above, I couldn’t resist the new Fronteris kits. As a point of honour, I painted them immediately. No loitering around for years, thank you!

Again, if you like the scheme, Fowler and I did a How To Paint Everything article on our Fronteris stuff.

‘Ere Comes Da Metalwaaagh!

Right, that’s the light aperitifs masticated. Time for the main thrust of my year: a new army of Goff Orks.

As a narrative nerd I’m a fan of having multiple armies. It’s my primary means of avoiding non-immersive matchups. I know civil wars are a thing, but you really do have to do some mental gymnastics to figure out why Ultramarines and Blood Angels have come to blows. But with an army of orks, you can fight anyone, anytime, anywhere.

The Metalwaaagh is a gathering of ladz who share an appreciation of the galaxy’s finest artform: rokk. Any subgenre of rokk is laudable; anything from speed rokk to heavy rokk, deff rokk, tribul rokk, extra shouty rokk, doom rokk, prog rokk and djentle rokk, or even just klassik Goff rokk. It’s all good. Their boss, whose original name has been lost to the sands of orkish memory and is now just referred to as Sirrus Bizniz, isn’t so much a musician as a Big Rokk Appreciator, and has gathered some of the finest proponents of da scene to come on tour with him across the stars, bringing the power of rokk to hitherto unprivileged ork ears.

Anyone who’s read my hobby nonsense before will be entirely unsurprised to hear I’ve got names and tales behind every unit… except troops units, who represent an ever-changing medley of fangrots and fanboys that Sirrus and the other movers and shakers don’t really bother to keep track of (even if they publicly claim to do everything “for da fans”).

I’ll do a proper showcase of this army when it’s finished; I’m currently about halfway through at about 1,300 points. We’ll see how much more I get done next year. For now, here’s a rogue’s gallery of rokk-obsessed muppets:

I love these idiots. If you enjoy reading pun-laden ork origin stories, you can read more about the Metalwaaagh over on the Beard Bunker. If you’re specifically interested in the quick, no-nonsense colour scheme (about an hour per ork) then that’s here.

Have a great festive break, fellow Warhams.

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